Mary Shelley

On the darkest of dark and stormy nights, the teenage Mary Shelley awoke from a nightmare. In her vision she saw a young man, a ‘pale student of unhallowed arts’, kneeling over his creation. The image inspired one of the most enduring horror works of our time, Frankenstein. But Mary Shelley was not just a mistress of the gothic. Born to one of the most influential proto-feminists of our age, Mary Wollstonecraft, and political radical and anarchist William Godwin, Mary moved in intellectual and artistic circles that would often overshadow her own greatness. But great she was. A woman who suffered and overcame tremendous loss, she was a survivor who spoke to some of the greatest anxieties of her – and our – time. But she was also a travel writer, an editor, a biographer, and feminist. Join us as we steal away in the night to traverse the stormy crossing from England to France and curl up by a fire to hear the tale of the original teen goth, Mary Shelley.

Selected References

Crook, Nora. “Mary Shelley, Author of Frankenstein.” A New Companion to the Gothic, edited by David Punter. Chichester, UK: John Wiley & Sons, 2012. 110-22.

Gilbert, Sandra M. “Horror’s Twin: Mary Shelley’s Monstrous Eve.” The Madwoman in the Attic. 2nd ed., Yale University Press, 2000. 213-247.

Lovejoy, Bess. Mary Shelley’s Obsession with the Cemetery. JSTOR Daily October 3, 2018.

Lepore, Jill. The Strange and Twisted Life of Frankenstein. The New Yorker. Feb 12 & 19 2018.

Sampson, Fiona. Frankenstein at 200 – why hasn’t Mary Shelley been given the respect she deserves? The Guardian. Jan 13, 2018.


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